I'm on a Mountain Goats kick again. It happens every couple of months I just start listening to the Mountain Goats constantly and/or trying to play MG songs on my guitar. In that vein, I came across the following quote from John Darnielle, which resonates deeply with me. Speaking of Psalms 40:2, my favorite Mountain Goats song, he says:
There's a number of different ways of feeling holy and connected with God. One way you can get really close to God is to sin as hard as you can. Because there's only one person, in theory, who can save you from that. His whole job, in a sense, is to absolve you of sin, to forgive you of sin. You're not supposed to, but you can test God by doing a lot of terrible things. If you directly intend to offend him, though, it would probably be the most direct, in a sense-- this is kind of Hare Krishna stuff, where they talk about the different ways you can stand with God. One is as a lover, but another is as His enemy. Because when you are engaging with someone in a position of enmity, that is also a very intimate relationship.
So these people are doing some bad things and one of them, the one who sins, is sort of experiencing a connection to God in the depths of his degradation-- which I think is almost a universal experience. When do you cry out to the God you don't believe in? When you hit bottom. That's the moment at which you are going to sort of know Him best. I don't even know, when I say Him, if I should put it in quotes or not, because I don't want to sound like I'm actually saying that. But I'm also saying that your ideas of God will come to rest upon you in your moment of profoundest degradation, which is kind of what that song is about.
And of course, the video: